We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope – Martin Luther King

Switch on any news channel, and you are deluged with bad news – the brunt of the Covid19 pandemic, tension at our borders, natural disasters, racial tension, people committing suicide, and more! The situation is overwhelming! All of us are dealing with the challenge of managing the safety and well-being of our families. The current pandemic has highlighted our connectedness. We are safe, only if our neighbors are safe. We have entered the era of physical distance but social connectedness. In our pursuit of the safety and security of our family, we need to bear in mind our social responsibility of taking care of the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of our communities as well.  

None of this is easy. As a life coach, I see the stress in people due to losing family members, job loss, inability to support old parents, meet extended family, or fear of falling sick. The typical reactions to a crisis are fight, flight, or freeze. The irony of the situation is that there is nowhere to flee. We face a choice between despair and hope. We can choose to believe that it will only get worse or we can notice the kindness and courage around us. We can choose to think that nothing will change, or we can be a part of the solution. We can choose to be indifferent or we can take conscious steps to make a difference.

I say it is our responsibility to choose hope because hope inspires action, gives momentum, generates compassion, and brings inner peace. With hope we seek opportunities, take risks, overcome challenges, and achieve goals. When we choose hope, we reject defeat. We act with courage, take feedback from our environment, and refine our approach, till we succeed. Also, our brain is configured to validate our beliefs. It finds what we focus on. So, when we choose hope, we find hope all around us and the world does not seem to be a dark, ominous place. The stories of hope which are invariably also the stories of grit and determination inspire us to act to improve our situation. We own our power, tap into our creativity, learn new skills, make new connections, get inspired, and inspire others.

I am so thankful to the frontline health warriors, the soldiers guarding our borders, and the good samaritans supporting communities who are putting themselves in danger to serve. because they believe they can make a difference. They are committed to doing all they can for a better tomorrow. Their selflessness generates hope. 

I am not downplaying the problems of life. I am not saying that hope solves them all. But it is the essential first step to any solution. All of us have the power to make a difference. I am greatly inspired by movements like Project Hope Exchange, and Lifevest inside. They remind me that hope is not determined by circumstances, it is an act of choice. Fitness enthusiasts use word hope as an acronym – Hold On, Pain Ends. It is a reminder that all challenges are transitory. I want to end this blog with a few quotations that I like –

  • Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness – Desmond Tutu
  • May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears – Nelson Mandela
  • Hope is like the sun, which as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us – Samuel Smiles